Swerving to avoid an obstacle on the road at moderate speeds and then trying to get back in the initial lane as quickly as possible would scare the bejesus out of you in the 2021 Toyota RAV4 Plug-in Hybrid.
According to TeknikensVarld’s evaluation, the RAV4 Plug-in Hybrid, which is sold in North America as the RAV4 Prime, “performed dangerously” in the moose test, with the website calling it a big disappointment.
As shown in the following video, the SUV dramatically oversteered at 42.3 mph (68 km/h). The cones went flying in the air at 41.6, 41.1, 40.4 and 38.8 mph (67, 66, 65 and 64 km/h) too, despite changing drivers, and it barely managed to complete the course at 39.2 mph (63 km/h). In their detailed report, TeknikensVarld noted that the electronic stability control did not seem to engage at all.
Watch Also: 2020 RAV4 Fails Swedish Moose Test, Toyota Begs To Differ
In response to this outcome, Toyota’s European arm subjected the RAV4 Plug-in Hybrid to the same test and got "similar results". "As a countermeasure, we will now take steps to ensure that RAV4 Plug-in Hybrid remains safe to drive", the automaker told the website. "In the meantime, we would like to reassure our customers that the RAV4 Plug-in Hybrid remains safe to drive."
While the Euro-spec RAV4 PHEV will, according to Toyota, be made safer, it is yet unknown whether the company will adopt the same measures for the U.S. version. However, there is no way of knowing whether the VSC (aka electronic stability control) has been set up differently for each market or if its calibration is the same. Thus, we contacted Toyota North America, so watch this space for updates.
In the U.S., the 2021 RAV4 Prime has an MSRP of $38,100. Power comes from a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine and a rear-mounted electric motor, which develop a combined 302 HP for a 0-60 mph (0-96 km/h) of 5.7 seconds, while the hybrid SUV has an estimated electric driving range of 42 miles (68 km).